Christmas Around the World
Reagan Library Christmas Tree Exhibit


Christmas Traditions


Despite the lack of snow and chimneys Santa Claus still visits Jamaica and gift giving is part of the Christmas tradition. Jamaica has more churches per square mile than any other country in the world. Festivities run from early December to New Year's Day.

Posted Friday December 8th 2023


Jamaica Flag

Jamaican Christmas Tree
Jamaican Christmas Tree

Jamaican Christmas Ornaments

Hummingbird Christmas Ornament

Jamaican Rum Christmas Ornament

Jamaican Hummingbird Ornament

Jamaican Stay Irie Christmas Ornament

JAMAICANStay Irie: - Everything is alright

Jamaican Christmas Ornaments

Jamaican Christmas Ornaments

Ronald Reagan Jamaica
April 7, 1982
President Reagan Nancy Reagan Edward Seaga Mrs. Seaga are greeted by children at an arrival ceremony at the Norman Manley Airport in Kingston Jamaica.


An island country situated in the Caribbean Sea. Spanning 10,990 square kilometres (4,240 sq mi) in area, it is the third largest island - after Cuba and Hispaniola - of the Greater Antilles and the Caribbean. Jamaica lies about 90 miles south of Cuba, and 119 miles west of Hispaniola (the island containing the countries of Haiti and the Dominican Republic); the British Overseas Territory of the Cayman Islands lies 134 miles to the north-west.

Originally inhabited by the indigenous Taino peoples, the island came under Spanish rule following the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1494. Many of the indigenous people either were killed or died of diseases, after which the Spanish brought large numbers of African slaves to Jamaica as labourers. The island remained a possession of Spain until 1655, under the name Santiago, when England (later Great Britain) conquered it and named it Jamaica. It became an important part of the colonial British West Indies.

Under Britain's colonial rule, Jamaica became a leading sugar exporter, with a plantation economy dependent on continued importation of African slaves and their descendants. The British fully emancipated all slaves in 1838, and many freedmen chose to have subsistence farms rather than to work on plantations. Beginning in the 1840s, the British began using Chinese and Indian indentured labor to work on plantations. The island achieved independence from the United Kingdom on 6 August 1962.

  • With 2.8 million people, Jamaica is the third-most populous Anglophone country in the Americas (after the United States and Canada), and the fourth-most populous country in the Caribbean.
  • Kingston is the country's capital and largest city.
  • The majority of Jamaicans are of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, with significant European, East Asian (primarily Chinese), Indian, Lebanese, and mixed-race minorities.
  • Due to a high rate of emigration for work since the 1960s, there is a large Jamaican diaspora, particularly in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
  • The country has a global influence that belies its small size; it was the birthplace of the Rastafari religion, reggae music (and associated genres such as dub, ska and dancehall), and it is internationally prominent in sports, most notably cricket, sprinting and athletics.
  • Jamaica has sometimes been considered the world's least populous cultural superpower.
  • Jamaica is an upper-middle income country with an economy heavily dependent on tourism; it has an average of 4.3 million tourists a year.
  • The country performs favorably in measures of press freedom, democratic governance and sustainable well-being.
  • Jamaica is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with power vested in the bicameral Parliament of Jamaica, consisting of an appointed Senate and a directly elected House of Representatives. Andrew Holness has served as Prime Minister of Jamaica since March 2016. As a Commonwealth realm, with Charles III as its king, the appointed representative of the Crown is the Governor-General of Jamaica, an office held by Patrick Allen since 2009.
  • Jamaica is the third largest island in the Caribbean.
  • The climate in Jamaica is tropical, with hot and humid weather, although higher inland regions are more temperate.
  • Jamaica lies in the hurricane belt of the Atlantic Ocean and because of this, the island sometimes suffers significant storm damage.
  • Jamaica's diverse ethnic roots are reflected in the national motto "Out of Many One People". Most of the population of 2,812,000 (July 2018 est.) are of African or partially African descent, with many being able to trace their origins to the West African countries of Ghana and Nigeria.
  • Jamaica is regarded as a bilingual country, with two major languages in use by the population. The official language is English, which is "used in all domains of public life", including the government, the legal system, the media, and education. However, the primary spoken language is an English-based creole called Jamaican Patois (or Patwa).
  • When Jamaica gained independence in 1962, the murder rate was 3.9 per 100,000 inhabitants, one of the lowest in the world. By 2009, the rate was 62 per 100,000 inhabitants, one of the highest in the world.
  • Christianity is the largest religion practiced in Jamaica.
  • Jamaican culture has a strong global presence. The musical genres reggae, ska, mento, rocksteady, dub, and, more recently, dancehall and ragga all originated in the island's vibrant, popular urban recording industry. Some rappers, such as The Notorious B.I.G., Busta Rhymes, and Heavy D, are of Jamaican descent. Bob Marley is probably the best known Jamaican musician; with his band the Wailers he had a string of hits in 1960s–70s, popularizing reggae internationally and going on to sell millions of records.
  • The island is famous for its Jamaican jerk spice, curries and rice and peas which is integral to Jamaican cuisine. Jamaica is also home to Red Stripe beer and Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee.
  • While the most popular local sport is cricket, on the international stage Jamaicans have tended to do particularly well at track and field athletics. Over the past six decades Jamaica has produced dozens of world class sprinters including Olympic and World Champion Usain Bolt. Association football and horse-racing are other popular sports in Jamaica. The Jamaica national bobsled team was once a serious contender in the Winter Olympics, beating many well-established teams. Chess and basketball are also widely played in Jamaica.
  • Jamaica's agricultural exports are sugar, bananas, cocoa, coconut, molasses oranges, limes, grapefruit, rum, yams, allspice (of which it is the world's largest and "most exceptional quality" exporter), and Blue Mountain Coffee which is considered a world renowned gourmet brand.

EtymologyThe indigenous people, the Taino, called the island Xaymaca in their language, meaning the "Land of Wood and Water" or the "Land of Springs". Yamaye has been suggested as an early Taino name for the island as recorded by Christopher Columbus. Colloquially, Jamaicans refer to their home island as the "Rock". Slang names such as "Jamrock", "Jamdown" ("Jamdung" in Jamaican Patois), or briefly "Ja", have derived from this.

Other Wikipedia Citings